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dog is my copilot?

July 30, 2006

Thanks for all the good-luck waves–it looks like things are going to work out with our “opportunity,” namely, we are on our way to adopting a very sweet dog! I am very excited–he is surprisingly mellow for his breed, housebroken, not much of a barker, and generally just a very lovable fellow.

Of course, because this is ME, I am up at 4:30 in the morning thinking about it.

I am worried, mostly, about leaving him home during the day for stretches of time. He’s not a puppy (in fact, he’s nearly middle-aged), so my concern isn’t about potty training or destructive behavior. But I am concerned about him getting bored or lonely or sad. And I know that thinking about my potential schedule for this fall isn’t terribly fruitful–it’s not going to be a normal schedule, and will only last for one semester–but still, I worry.

I know that millions of Americans have dogs that they love who stay home all day and do just fine. So why am I so worried about our potential baby? That’s pretty much what he does now, is stay home all day. And even for this fall, there would only be one day, potentially, that he’d be home alone for a longer stretch. But how long is too long of a stretch? Some websites say 5 hours alone is too much for a dog, particularly if he’s crated. What if he’s not crated, but confined to a certain room in the house?

I have wanted to get a dog for the longest time, and this particular opportunity is almost so perfect it’s fate–the owner travels too much to take care of the dog properly and needs to find him a good home, he was just on the verge of calling the local breed rescue organization when I called him in response to an email a friend forwarded to me, the dog himself is so wonderful and obviously well-loved and treated (and he travels well), he’s an adult dog, which is what we wanted to get . . . the list goes on and on. But now, faced with bringing him home, I am so worried that we won’t be good enough for him. I worry that we will be bad dog owners. Unfounded though this worry may be, it is completely consuming me.

[Come to think of it, I’ve been very obsessive over little things like this lately, so I worry also that I’m becoming sort of neurotic. Still, isn’t it marginally better for me to be up in the middle of the night worrying about whether we’ll be good dog owners than whether or not our paint will look good?]

So the good luck waves worked–he’s a good dog, he’s trained and so sweet, the owner seems to like us and approve of us taking his baby, so it’s really just a matter of turning in a pet deposit and bringing him home (maybe for a short trial, over a weekend, if the owner is willing). No major glitches so far. Keep up the waves, though, for my mental health, if nothing else.

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Categories: woof
  1. July 30, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    You’ll be fine and your new baby will be fine. I know how you feel about not wanting to leave a furry all by himself all day. Make sure he has toys and things to keep him occupied and it will all work out great. Fate has brought a new friend into your world! Yay! 🙂

  2. CM
    July 31, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Ooh, a dog! I wish we could get a dog, but JW’s allergic. While you’re in school, it shouldn’t be too bad, right? I’ve seen a lot of dogs on campus. How big is he?

  3. Legally Brunette
    July 31, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    It’ll be fine. 🙂

    Do you have a porch or balcony on your apartment? If the dog is houstrained, there should be no problem leaving him on the porch when the weather is nice – that’s what we did with our dog when we were apartment dwellers. She loved it – she could bark at the squirrels and the gangbangers. (We lived in the ghetto.)

    If not, inside is OK, too. Just be sure she has lots to keep him occupied – chewtoys, etc. Lots of folks I know have had good luck with the “Kong” rubber toys – you can put treats and stuff inside, so it keeps them occupied for hours. My dog never liked those, but she DOES love the Booda bones – they’re flavored cornstarch bones. She adores them.

    Good luck!

  4. July 31, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Read the Monks of New Skete books, adapt to fit the personality of your pet, and remember that there are brands of paint that you can scrub with bleach and they still look good. Trust me: my whole house was done in them.

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